The race to release the best smartphone just got interesting, as Samsung delivered their hottest piece of kit yet; the Galaxy Note Edge complete with a display that curves over the one edge of the phone.
Samsung announced their new smartphone today at the IFA trade show in Berlin, well ahead of Apple’s iPhone launch date of September 9, who were also rumoured to be launching a similar curved device at their event.
The curved section of the display on the Galaxy Note Edge wraps over the phone’s right edge, and works independently from the main area of the phone. This allows users to either launch apps or view information, and as it pops out of the phone, it works even when the cover is closed. David Park, a manager at Samsung’s mobile division, described the new screen as working like a ‘ticker’ down the right-hand side, with news items and notifications scrolling along it.
The curved side provides an extra screen if you like, a kind of side display, so that when the phone is laid flat, you can still see information such as the time and weather scrolling along.
Other features of the Galaxy Note Edge include a 16MP rear-facing camera and a 3.7MP front camera, and a flashlight and stopwatch. The new smartphone has also undergone improvements to the interface; there is now a new Multiwindow feature that allows users to minimise and resize different screens on their phone, as you would on a normal PC.
GALAXY NOTE EDGE SPECS
- Processor: 2.7 GHz Quad-Core
- Display: 5.6 inches (141.9mm) Quad HD+ Suiper AMOLED (2560 x 1440)
- Operating System: Android 4.4 (KitKat)
- Rear camera: 16 Megapixel Auto Focus camera with Smart OIS
- Front camera: 3.7 Megapixel
- Memory: 32/64 GB internal and microSD slot (up to 64 GB)
- RAM: 3GB
- Dimensions: 151.3 x 82.4 x 8.3 mm
- Weight: 174 grams
Samsung have taken their customer feedback onboard, and redesigned the camera phone to function as more like a point and shoot device, with a repositioned shutter button now on the top of the phone when held horizontally.
Experts are already predicting the curved screens are the way to stand out in a saturated market:
“An edge-based display will give Samsung’s smartphone clear differentiation in a crowded market,” said Ian Fogg, an analyst covering the mobile industry at IHS in London.
“But for Samsung to maximise the potential of an edge display it needs third party apps to support the display with additional Samsung-specific functions,” he added.
Rob Kerr, mobiles expert at uSwitch.com, added: “When it comes to Samsung, bigger is usually better, and its fourth generation phablet is no exception. Size-wise, the Note 4 is no bigger than the Note 3, but it’s still bigger than most pockets.”
Samsung didn’t announce a release date or prices, but it is known that the Note 4 and Gear VR will be out in October this year, and the Galaxy Note 3 retailed for around £425 ($700) without a contract, or £180 ($300) with one.